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About this blog

These are the stories of LUNGevity Foundation's passionate volunteers who are dedicated to improving quality of life and survivorship.

Entries in this blog

 

Don Fredal

I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in September 2014. Like many people, my diagnosis came as a huge surprise to me and my family. A friend told us about the Breathe Deep Kansas City Walk that was happening in our area. We called our team The Village People because we like to say, “It takes a village” to fight this thing. The Breathe Deep walks provide an opportunity to raise awareness and money in your own community. It’s very powerful. I attended my first National HOPE Summit in Was

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Bill & Heather’s Story (Part 2)

Becoming Empowered Advocates My wife, Heather, told me about LUNGevity National HOPE Summit and that she wanted to attend. She received a Travel Grant from LUNGevity and I decided to join her at the conference. It is one of the best things we ever did. The wealth of information about lung cancer available through LUNGevity is not comparable to anything I could find in Canada or through any Canadian organizations. LUNGevity is so caring, thoughtful, and cutting edge. Heather and I atten

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Bill & Heather's Story (Part 1)

My wife, Heather’s lung cancer was discovered by accident. She was having an abdominal CT scan when the doctor noticed a small shadow on her lower right lobe. She subsequently had a chest CT scan. The Thoracic surgeon felt it was pneumonia scar but it was too small for a needle biopsy so he ordered a PET scan. We went for the PET scan and the radiologist who did the scan also read it and told her immediately that she did not have cancer. (It was not until a couple of years later that I actu

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Jordan Meyerson

I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer on September 19, 2016. The doctor told us that it was inoperable and radiation was not an option. It felt as though I’d been punched in the stomach. I immediately began thinking of my children and my wife, Lisa, and that my time here on Earth was very limited. I had no words that day, only utter despair. As the initial shock wore off, and the option of getting selected for a trial medication was offered, I realized that I may have a chance at fighti

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Kyle McCarthy

My Dad was always my Ironman when I was growing up. In 2004, my dad had a persistent cough. He went to the doctor a few times and was finally diagnosed with pneumonia. A year went by and the cough went away for awhile. When it returned, my dad went back to the doctor. He was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I was 17 at the time. After he was diagnosed, my Dad signed up for Heather Saler’s Lung Cancer Walk in Pennsauken, NJ, which eventually became Breathe Deep South Jersey.  My dad didn

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Melissa Crouse

I first became involved with LUNGevity through National HOPE Summit, a survivorship conference in Washington, D.C. Seeing so many survivors and being able to share our stories and gain knowledge made the experience very special. I’m always impressed by the quality of what I learn and what is shared. The fact that the medical researchers can interact with patients in an intimate setting and participate in the roundtable discussions is very inspiring. Going to HOPE Summit has been a springboa

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Nina Beaty

I was first diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in January of 2014 from a biopsy of the tumor that was sitting on top of my left lung.  I had no symptoms I was ill yet I was urged by a radiologist who was a friend of the family to get an early lung cancer detection CT scan of the chest because I had been a smoker years before and grew up in a household of heavy smokers. So for me, it came as a total shock when I was told my diagnosis and “to get into the city for treatment, ASAP. “  For

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Sam McBride

Around the first of December 2015 I noticed I was having some shortness of breath when I climbed the flight of stairs to my apartment. I didn't think much of it at the time. I just chalked it up to my age (62) and being out of shape. As time went on the shortness of breath became worse and I developed a persistent cough with some transient hoarseness. I decided it was time to see the doctor. My primary care provider diagnosed me with asthma/bronchitis, which I had many times over the years

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Pauline Makowski

My husband, Allan, died from stage IV lung cancer in June 2009. I was feeling a need to get involved with an organization dealing specifically with lung cancer.  I researched LUNGevity, and thought it was a very worthwhile organization. My first experience with LUNGevity was in November 2009. At the time, my daughter, Stephanie was a college student in NYC. She formed a team for LUNGevity’s Walk to Beat Lung Cancer, which later became Breathe Deep NYC.  My son and I joined Stephanie and her

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Kara Capasso

When my dad, Fred Gontarek, was diagnosed with lung cancer, I felt lost. I wasn’t sure where to turn. I searched the internet as most people do to see what support was out there and what was being done to raise funds for research. Sadly, there were not many local organizations or funds being raised for lung cancer. I vowed to try to change that. I found the Breathe Deep Philadelphia Event was coming up in the Fall of 2011 and knew we needed to be there for Dad and with Dad. Team Fred starte

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LaurenH

 

Charlotte Jamison

By: Deborah R. Burns “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace, A soul generated by love.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charlotte Jamison is many things: a Christian, a mother, a teacher, a friend, and a volunteer. Over the past two years, Charlotte has volunteered her time and talents to assist in the efforts of the LUNGevity Foundation’s Annual Breathe Deep DC 5K Walk.  Charlotte serves as the backbone and chief fundraiser for Team

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Jan Poulsen's Story

It came as quite a surprise when I was first diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer in 2007. It was an even bigger shock to learn that my lung cancer was caused by exposure to high levels of radon gas in my own home. I want to keep sharing my story with the hope that it might prevent others from getting lung cancer from radon gas.  My husband and I did extensive renovations on our house to turn it into our dream home. About five years later, I developed a nagging cough. I went to the doctor, wh

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Rose Vining's Story

I was diagnosed with lung cancer in August of 2011 out of the blue, totally unexpected. I went for a regular checkup after experiencing some gastric reflux and abdominal pain. The doctor suggested an abdominal CT scan. He called me back into his office and told me that, although the scan was of my abdomen, a part of my lung had been included. A little shadow had shown up there that concerned him. He asked me to undergo a second CT scan, this time of my lungs. That scan revealed a prominent area

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Melissa Fosco's Story

Back in 2009, my mother-in-law, Sue Fosco, was diagnosed with lung cancer. It came as a huge shock to our family. Sue was a very healthy oncology nurse and non-smoker. At first, she thought she had a cold or sinus infection, but it wouldn’t go away, so she went in for further testing. The people administering the tests were her colleagues and friends at the Edward Cancer Center in Naperville. Sue was diagnosed with Stage IV bronchoalveolar adenocarcinoma in both lungs. Sue was a wonderful w

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Ryan Gardenhire's Story

After losing my mother to lung cancer in 2010, I had been looking for ways to help raise awareness for the disease and educate people that lung cancer is not just a “smoker’s disease.” My mother's efforts at raising awareness were very important to her and I wanted to honor her life and efforts by continuing that community outreach. After participating in Breathe Deep Nashville in 2012, I indicated in a post-race survey that I would be interested in helping out the following year. One of th

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Lauren Humphries' Story

Nothing can prepare a man and his family for a lung cancer diagnosis. I remember the night five years ago when my mom called me with bad news. My uncle, Keith, had just been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Keith is my dad’s youngest brother, who is always making everyone laugh and giving the best bear hugs. He is a husband, father, and small business owner who coached all of his kids’ youth sports teams and never missed a game. My grandfather passed away from paranasal sinus cancer whe

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Terry Gillespie's Story

Hi my name is Terry Gillespie. I am a 13-year lung cancer survivor.  I started my lung-cancer journey back in October 2003. In the fall, I am prone to sinus infections, so as usual I got one.  It just so happened this time that I let it go a little longer because I had just lost my job and had no insurance. When it got so bad and I coughed so hard that I had a little blood in my sputum, I called the doctor and made an appointment. My doctor prescribed the usual antibiotics, a

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Alisa Brenes' Story

Hello there …. my name is Alisa Brenes and I am a 16-year Stage 3 lung cancer survivor. I guess you can say my lung cancer journey started before I was born.  My mom, my maternal grandfather and many of his siblings all died of lung cancer.  I am motivated to do my part to end our family history now. I have been a lung cancer advocate for over ten years, most of my work behind the scenes, but little by little I’m coming out and sharing my story.  I hope to follow this introduction with

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Don Stranathan's Story

I am now on disability, fighting my cancer is a full-time job. In my past life I was the Business Development Manager for a technology company in Rohnert Park, CA. When not doing advocacy work you can usually find me in a spin class or out in Mother Nature hiking or biking with my friends. I was dx with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in June of 2009. Since then I have done radiation, six cycles of chemotherapy Taxol, Carbo and Avastin for the lung cancer. That was followed by six cycles of Genzar for

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Jennifer Barnhart's Story

I first got involved with LUNGevity in early 2013. My husband had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer and I was looking to participate in a walk to raise the much needed funds for research. I chose to work with LUNGevity because I saw that they had many walk/runs throughout the country. Prior to my husband's diagnosis I didn't know much about lung cancer and like most people believed it was unlikely to ever touch my life as we both have never smoked. After his diagnosis I learned that

LaurenH

LaurenH

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